Usage of “Mobile Devices”

A recent survey about mobile marketing in USA turned up some interesting statistics:

  • the average user of a mobile phone spent 50 minutes per day accessing social media
  • the average user of a non-mobile PC spent 56 minutes per day accessing social media
  • 38% of those who used a smart phone to access social media browsed the web primarily

Whether or not smart phones are replacing PCs, clearly a large function of PCs is being done by smart phones. Unless people who use smart phones do double duty on the static PC it follows that some PCs are being replaced by smart phones for those whose major use of the Internet is social media.

This is an assault against Wintel and explains why Intel is trying to shoehorn x86 into smart phones and why M$ is trying to shoehorn that other OS into smart phones. Meanwhile Android/Linux runs rampant in this emerging market not soon to be overtaken. Android/Linux and other /Linux OS also have an opportunity to expand into other usage of PCs. Wintel is threatened.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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9 Responses to Usage of “Mobile Devices”

  1. Clarence Moon says:

    As I recall from some discussion on this point a number of weeks ago, the revenue is taken in some other category. Somebody posted a link to the exact spot and maybe you could look back to find it.

    Forbes Magazine suggests it will be as much as a billion bucks this year:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2011/12/22/microsoft-milking-the-patent-cow-up-to-32-stock-price/

    A while back, the analysts only had it as $400 to $500 million, though. Presumably, it will get reported on their next annual or even quarterly reports so you can see how right you were.

  2. Quietly probably means that the licences obtained are royalty-free or that the licencee is not distributing the software. See GPL v 2 (Linux)

    ” if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.”

    Since OEMs are distributing the software with their gadgets, M$ and the OEM must have something more general in mind like a general licensing agreement that does not even mention Android/Linux. If I were one of the OEMs, I would not have taken such a hit. The amount of the royalty must be so trivial that it is inconsequential. There certainly is no “pop” in M$’s client division revenue…

  3. Clarence Moon says:

    Well, as long as you know better than Ed Bott, Mr. Pogson, you are safe and secure. Poking around on that thread, though, I found where LG had announced that they, too, were licensing Microsoft patents for use with their Android devices. According to Ed Bott, who may be woefully inaccurate, that makes for some 70% of the Android devices being made throughout the world being made under the aegis of Microsoft’s patents.

    All of which brings up the question about how that affects the GPL for the Linux part of Android. Some years ago, there was a fuss and holler about Novell providing patent coverage for patents that Microsoft suggested were being infringed and a bunch of the GPL fans were complaining that such a license scheme was a violation of the GPL. Is that still the case? If so, how is its being ignored so quietly now?

  4. Nope.

    This is old news. B&N still has defences that the patents are invalid. They have a preliminary finding that that is so.

    Patent-misuse is just one of B&N’s defences.

    Also, Ed Bott’s claim that the judge rules thusly is false. The judge ruled that attacking Android/Linux alone is insufficient to find for B&N. It’s an alarmist title.

  5. Clarence Moon says:

    BTW, did you miss this?

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/judge-rules-that-targeting-android-for-destruction-is-legally-ok/4520?tag=nl.e550

    That seems to be shoving the Nook into a defenseless cranny, eh?

  6. Dell’s published margin on products was 20% last quarter but net income was only 5.8%. That would have been near the middle of the pack back in 2006. That’s not bad but a slight downturn can hurt them. The only ones making a ton of money in PCs are M$ and Intel. Everyone else is working at much lower profits. e.g. Chinese OEMs have 3-5% margins for notebooks.

    Acer lost money for several quarters. ARMed products sold many more units than x86.

  7. Clarence Moon says:

    I think that is a figment of your imagination, Mr. Pogson. It is not so simple to find a good source for the financials of many supplier, but they seem satisfied with their prospects:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-10/acer-first-quarter-shipments-may-be-better-than-earlier-guidance.html?cmpid=yhoo

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204369404577211892080278840.html?ru=yahoo&mod=yahoo_hs

    Dell, though, is a public company and is essentially a pure play in x86 computer systems and peripherals. They report gross profits of $11.4B on sales of $61.5B for the latest year. Look for yourself on Yahoo or other financial pages.

    Clearly these businesses are not struggling and their combined sales overwhelm the chump change being gathered by the ARM products in the PC arena so far.

  8. Clarence Moon wrote, “Wintel is the largest part, by far, of where the profits are being made.”

    Not true. OEMs have tiny margins and some, like Acer have lost tons of money on x86 and that other OS. The pot for Wintel is not growing much any longer while the pot for ARMed smart thingies is exploding. Anyone thinking of next year’s profits will be looking at ARM. Some think WOA will be their saviour but it won’t sell just as Vista did not sell and “7” is sluggish. People making ARMed smart thingies are making a ton of money because they can charge a lot for a few grams of computer rather than less for 10 kg of computer. If the OEMs making x86 stuff do not move into ARM other entrepreneurs will do that. I see smart phone makers invading the personal computer space.

  9. Clarence Moon says:

    “it follows that some PCs are being replaced by smart phones for those whose major use of the Internet is social media.”

    You are not thinking like a marketer or even a scientist or engineer here, Mr. Pogson. It may very well be the case that some individuals will use their phones forever and never go back to their PCs. It is more likely that many people who have never used computers at all are now using phones or iPads to connect to internet services. My own opinion is that almost everyone using a phone or tablet in that way will continue to use a conventional PC as well.

    The phone and tablet are handy for mobile instances of a need to tweet or mail or review Facebook activity. But they are relatively Spartan displays and clumsy data entry methods compared to a desktop or laptop computer. The history of personal computing has always been a continual seeking of better and better user experience and that will not stop just to save a few bucks on hardware.

    Indeed, for the price of a PC 20 years ago, you can have computers, tablets, and smart phones for everyone in the family today. No one is going to deprive themselves of the richer experience to avoid spending a few hundred extra a year to have it all. At least not enough people are going to “save” that money so as to matter in the PC markets.

    In the end, that is where the whole thing matters. If the proprietary businesses that you rail against continue to prosper, it is no concern of theirs that the unsold markets ebb or flow. People making money in the business will continue to do so with whatever works for them.

    Wintel is the largest part, by far, of where the profits are being made. Apple’s iPad and iPhone are the next largest piece. Android stuff lags far behind and Linux stuff is not even in the race.

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